User talk:Rick Dulton

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Hi Rick Dulton! I saw you recently joined UDWiki, and wanted to welcome you on behalf of Project Welcome! If you have any questions or need any help, don't hesitate to contact anyone on that page, or message me directly at my talk page. Have a great day! Bob Moncrief EBDW! 12:32, 9 July 2013 (BST)

RRF map

Hey there, I saw {{BarricadePlanRRF}} and noticed it was a copy/paste of the work I did for {{BarricadePlanMOB}}. Just to say it right up front, I'm totally cool with you using my code for this sort of thing, since I've already reused my own work for BB4's map, and I certainly wouldn't begrudge the RRF using it as well (though clearly you'll want to change it to use RRF colors instead of MOB colors :P). The reason I'm contacting you is because the history for the page seems to indicate that you've run into a few issues while using the template, and I'd like to make myself available to help if you'd like any assistance. It looks like you mostly have it ironed out at this point, but there may be a few lingering things, so if you have any questions, feel free to respond here and I'll get back to you. Aichon 19:33, 2 August 2013 (BST)

Thanks Aichon - much appreciated (on both counts). Looking to adapt the format to add things like survivor counts, wits and so on and allow updating directly from an IRC channel. Anticipating some spin-off work which might be useful for the MOB as well (I have a character in the MOB too and noticed that the MOB map hasn't been updated in a little while). Will certainly let you know if I run into difficulties or have questions. Thanks again for letting me build on your work! --Rick Dulton 04:04, 3 August 2013 (BST)
Yeah, I've been lazy about updating the MOB Locator in the last few months, and at this point I'm kinda winding down my MOB involvement for the time being, so that trend is likely to continue. As for adding all of that stuff, that should all be quite doable if you're limiting your scope to Ridleybank. I wasn't able to do some of that stuff with the MOB version (or the BB4 version) since we needed something that could work in any suburb without needing any customization, but if you're going to be monitoring just one, you can definitely spice the map up quite a bit with more info that's tied to specific locations and the like. Anyway, sounds like you have some good ideas. Looking forward to seeing where you take them! Aichon 04:55, 3 August 2013 (BST)
I am working on a design which I believe will allow me to extend the concept generically to any suburb - watch this space! :) --Rick Dulton 07:11, 3 August 2013 (BST)
User:Karek/ProjDev --Karekmaps 2.0?! 03:56, 6 August 2013 (BST)
Yup and the whole thing in general is largely immitation of my revision to the DoHS maps waaaay back when when I made them actually usable and ran the DoHS. --Karekmaps 2.0?! 03:54, 6 August 2013 (BST)

Moved your page

Hi Rick! Just so you know, I moved the page you created at Rick Dulton to User:Rick Dulton. Personal pages should be created in the User: namespace rather than the main namespace. If you'd like the page moved to a subpage of your userspace, just let me know below. Thanks! Bob Moncrief EBDW! 02:08, 4 August 2013 (BST)

Oops - sorry about that. Thanks Bob! --Rick Dulton 02:09, 4 August 2013 (BST)

Bot floods Recent Changes

Your bot is flooding recent changes. Looking through the settings that have been applied here and through the documentation on Mediawiki, I have come to the theory that it is probably due to an error in the bot's programming. It isn't sufficient to have the bot in the bots user group (which grants him the bots user right). The bot also has to use the bots user right by making sure that he flags each edit positively with the bot flag. The parameter for that in the editing API is bot=1, as explained here. Mind to check if every edit done by the bot explicitely has the bot=1 parameter included, and to fix it if that setting hasn't been done? -- Spiderzed 14:07, 21 August 2013 (BST)

I've created a new account to dick around with bot edits. By default, the bot flag is activated for users in the bot group, so most likely it is actively disabled somewhere in your bot script by using the parameter bot=0. Mind to make the source code available (via pastebin or here on the wiki) so that I may take a peek if you can't find where the error creeps in? -- Spiderzed 15:33, 21 August 2013 (BST)
Sorry about that. I'm just using the sample source code from the PERL MediaWiki plug-in, which looks like the following. I'll dig into it and see what's needed to fix this before making further bulk updates. --Rick Dulton 18:58, 21 August 2013 (BST)

 use MediaWiki::API;
 my $pagename = "Wikipedia:Sandbox";
 my $ref = $mw->get_page( { title => $pagename } );
 unless ( $ref->{missing} ) {
   my $timestamp = $ref->{timestamp};
   $mw->edit( {
     action => 'edit',
     title => $pagename,
     basetimestamp => $timestamp, # to avoid edit conflicts
     text => $ref->{'*'} . "\nAdditional text" } )
     || die $mw->{error}->{code} . ': ' . $mw->{error}->{details};

Looking at the code, the problem should be solved by replacing

   $mw->edit( {
     action => 'edit',


   $mw->edit( {
     action => 'edit',
     bot => '1',

That way, the bot flag should always be set as true, and the bot edits should always be properly flagged. -- Spiderzed 20:52, 21 August 2013 (BST)
Yep, the bot => '1' flag fixed it, thanks. I've fixed the code to use that everywhere. --Rick Dulton 08:13, 22 August 2013 (BST)

On a related note, the MapBot edits are causing the job queue to balloon (right now it's about 9,000, and each edit causes it to jump by a hundred or so). I think this is what's causing the whole Wiki to hang, at least for me. Is it possible to avoid editing using the bot for at least several hours to let the queue run down? (Might even take a day or two; it seems to process about 10 jobs a minute, which would mean 15 hours of wait time.) Bob Moncrief EBDW! 19:14, 21 August 2013 (BST)

Yes, certainly - sorry if I caused performance issues. I noticed the slowdown too, but hadn't been able to establish a definite correlation with the work I was doing. I'll wait until the job queue returns to normal (do we know what the the usual baseline is?) and perform a couple of non-automated edits to measure the impact before developing further.
As an aside, from reading the MediaWiki job queue help, it sounds possible that the performance impact could be as much due to the (manual) template edits I was making around the same time, as the actual bot activity. It implies that the HTML cache for each page is regenerated up front whenever a template it is using changes (rather than waiting for the page to be requested). In some cases, this could potentially trigger hundreds (perhaps thousands) of updates for each template edit. Do you happen to know if that is indeed how it works? (Simple testing should confirm either way, once the job queue returns to normal). Thanks --Rick Dulton 08:11, 22 August 2013 (BST)
Job queue is now down around 2,000, although the wiki went down for about 6-7 hours. Not sure how closely related those are. I think your understanding of the job queue is correct; in my experience, two things tend to boost the jq a bunch - editing a template that's called on a bunch of pages, or editing/creating a page that calls a bunch of templates. The worst for wiki performance is something like the Danger Center, which causes that every time a DangerReport is updated, all of the thousands of templates called on that page get re-called. Bob Moncrief EBDW! 17:42, 22 August 2013 (BST)
The typical queue is at 0, honestly, since we typically have very little going on. Also, it's worth noting that not all jobs are created equal. If memory serves, changes that require gathering hundreds of templates are still treated as a single massive job (since we have to gather all of them before we can update the page), but I believe that changing a template that is used in hundreds of places results in hundreds of jobs that are each potentially rather minor (after all, we don't have to update all of them right now, so we can queue them separately, rather than as one giant job). The DangerCenter definitely falls into the "a few massive jobs" category. Not sure about this stuff, since I haven't looked at it yet. Aichon 17:52, 22 August 2013 (BST)
The wiki has been down for 10 hours, possibly due to the bot edits. Looking deeper into the code of the MapBot pages, they call for plenty of templates. That is bad, as template calls create a load of strain on the wiki server. The largest chunk seems to come from the User:MapBot/xx,yy templates. You should minimize the template calls on each individual page as much as possible. A start would be to subst any template that doesn't need to be current (such as Template:School). -- Spiderzed 17:57, 22 August 2013 (BST)

It's happening again

Hey, just wanted to let you know that MapBot is once again filling Recent Changes. Can you doublecheck that everything's in order regarding flagging the edits as bot ones? Thanks! Bob Moncrief EBDW! 06:53, 2 October 2013 (BST)

Copy/paste error in a new script, sorry - fixed now. --Rick Dulton 06:52, 12 October 2013 (BST)